[LON-CAPA-cvs] cvs: loncom /html/adm/help/tex Significant_Figures.tex
lira
lira at source.lon-capa.org
Mon Mar 17 00:24:56 EDT 2014
lira Mon Mar 17 04:24:56 2014 EDT
Modified files:
/loncom/html/adm/help/tex Significant_Figures.tex
Log:
adding description of options for sig figures, and suggestions to minimize student frustration. Minor wording/structural changes.
Index: loncom/html/adm/help/tex/Significant_Figures.tex
diff -u loncom/html/adm/help/tex/Significant_Figures.tex:1.6 loncom/html/adm/help/tex/Significant_Figures.tex:1.7
--- loncom/html/adm/help/tex/Significant_Figures.tex:1.6 Mon Sep 9 20:57:01 2013
+++ loncom/html/adm/help/tex/Significant_Figures.tex Mon Mar 17 04:24:56 2014
@@ -1,26 +1,39 @@
\label{Significant_Figures}
-A \textbf{significant figures} specification tells the system how many significant
-figures there are in the problem, as either a single number, e.g. 3, or a range of
-acceptable values, expressed as \textbf{min,max}. The system will check to
-make sure that the student's answer contains this many significant digits,
+A \textbf{significant figures} specification is an optional setting that
+tells LON-CAPA how many significant
+figures there are required for the answer, as either a single number, e.g. 3, or a range of
+acceptable values, expressed as \textbf{min,max}. The significant figures field can be omitted if you do
+not want to constrain the number of significant digits in the student answers.
+
+The system will check to
+ensure that the student's answer contains the required significant digits,
useful in many scientific calculations. For example, if the computer answer is {}``1.3'',
and the problem requests three significant digits, specified by (entered without quotes)
{}``3'', the system will require the students to type {}``1.30'',
even though numerically, {}``1.3'' and {}``1.30'' are the same. A significant
figure specification of (entered without quotes) {}``3,4'' means both {}``1.30'' and {}``1.300''
-are acceptable. The significant figures field can be omitted if you do
-not want to constrain the number of significant digits in the student answers.
+are acceptable.
+
+Authors should be clear in the problem statements to tell students the required
+number or range of significant figures. If the student response does not contain
+the correct number of significant digits, the LON-CAPA response will
+tell students to increase or decrease the digits in their response, but it will not
+tell them how many digits to use. These responses do not use up
+the number of trials, but such responses are frustrating for students. If you would like to ensure
+that at least three significant digits are used, then a specification such as 3,15
+ensures at least three digits are used, but will quietly accept up to 15.
-Note that care must be used when generating and formating computer answers.
-You must assure that the specified answer format provides for enough significant digits.
+Note that care must be used when using formatted computer answers together with
+a significant digit specification.
+You must ensure that the formatted answer provides enough significant digits.
To test the formatted answer, LON-CAPA converts the computer answer,
as generated in the script block, according to the
-format attribute in the numericalresponse tag.
+format attribute in the numericalresponse tag, e.g. 3f.
Then LON-CAPA separately applies that number of significant
figures to the computer answer, and if that result
falls outside the range specified in the significant digit parameter,
-it "grades" the computer answer as SIG\_FAIL (i.e., not correct). This helps assure
-that you have enough significant digits in the formatted answers you display to the students.
+it "grades" the computer answer as SIG\_FAIL (i.e., not correct).
It is a good idea to use the problem testing environment to test plenty of different
randomizations to make sure that your format and sig digits parameters are compatible.
+This helps ensure that the formatted answer has enough significant digits.
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